The Foo Fighters drummer died on Friday night (March 25) at the age of 50. The band announced the news in a statement on social media; no cause of death was given.
“The Foo Fighters family is devastated by the tragic and untimely loss of Taylor Hawkins,” the statement read. “His musical spirit and infectious laughter will live on with all of us forever. Our hearts go out to his wife, children and family, and we ask that their privacy be treated with the utmost respect in this unimaginably difficult time.”
Tributes have been flowing in all weekend for Hawkins, including those from Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello, Queen guitarist Brian May, Ozzy Osbourne, John Mayer, Sam Fender, Ringo Starr, Nickelback, Incubus and many more.
Jane’s Addiction frontman and Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell has also shared a tribute to Hawkins, posting a heart-wrenching video tribute to the late drummer.
Farrell performed with Foo Fighters at their final show on March 20, joining Hawkins and co. onstage at Lollapalooza Argentina for a rendition of the Jane’s Addiction’s ‘Been Caught Stealing’.
In his video, shared yesterday (March 27), Farrell discusses how close he and Hawkins were.
“Taylor Hawkins died yesterday. He was my best friend. Beloved in my home by my wife, my children, even my dogs,” he said at the start of the video. “Whenever Taylor came over, we would make music in the den. [Our dog] Cloud would always go and sit right by him.
“He was one of the most passionate drummers I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. When I think of him, I sum it up with one word: Velocity. He had the gift to maintain a confident, striking and stroking velocity on drums.
“There’s a large part of my heart that I had reserved for him. I accepted him into my heart when we became friends because he was such a pure guy. So pure of heart…I would receive texts from Taylor. They were always bits and pieces of songs he was writing or looking to write or wanted me to listen to. I got music tidbits as oftenas I got ‘I love yous.’
“We would always start with a song. There was always a song, like, ‘Do you listen to Yes? You know, that guy kinda sounds like you!’ And I’d say, ‘Yeah, yeah, I like Yes.’ He was just obsessed with music and great song. My passion for music, that’s what’s our common ground. Our friendship was based around that. Then we got to know each other.”
Taylor Hawkins attends the ceremony honouring Jane’s Addiction with a Star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2013. CREDIT: Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Farrell continued: “He would tell me stories of going to Jane’s shows back in the ’80s. Shows that were pretty underground. So, although I didn’t make his acquaintance back then, we shared a history. It’ss almost like the rights of passage. We were young men, and we were trying to be great musicians.
“Little did he know through this one fatal night, he would cement himself in the legends of music for all time, and that’s what I think he deserves. The only sense that I can make of the tragedy is to know that Taylor’s now in heaven. He can hear us. What I’m gonna do this day forward is to try to make music that I think Taylor would really love.”
The tribute then cuts to a video of Hawkins and Farrell performing Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ with a street musician.
When the clip returns, Farrell is joined by his wife Etty Lau Farrell, who proceeds to share the final audio message Hawkins sent her, which she received on Thursday night (March 24) just hours before his death.
“This is something that’s very personal and dear to me,” Etty Lau says. “It is the last audio message that I received on my phone on Thursday night. It was sent out from the hotel.”
Perry and Etty then play the message, in which Hawkins can be heard saying: “Take care of each other, and I’ll take care of me. And I will see you guys in Sao Paolo [at Lollapalooza Brazil]. I love, love, love, love you guys. Sleep tight.”
Watch Farrell’s video tribute below:
“I dedicate this last song to the one and only Taylor fucking Hawkins,” Gallagher said, as the drummer’s image appeared on the screen behind him. “This is for you, brother.”
Elton John also dedicated a performance of his 1974 song ‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me’ to Hawkins at a show in Iowa.
Speaking about the passing of the Foo Fighters drummer, John said: “I was so shocked because he played on my ‘Lockdown Sessions’; he was one of the nicest people you could have ever met, and one of the greatest drummers, and a true musician who loved all sorts of music, and loved life.”
Tommy Lee has also reflected on talking to Hawkins a few hours before the drummer’s death.